Republicans in Virginia are set to oust an incumbent GOP congressman, Rep. Denver Riggleman, after he officiated a gay wedding last year.
Bob Good, a former Liberty University athletics director, is challenging Riggleman for the Republican nomination in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. Good announced Wednesday that he has 62 percent of the district’s delegates, meaning he would defeat the incumbent at the party’s upcoming convention, which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Good has said he has a “biblical view of marriage” and that Riggleman does not represent the “conservative values of this district.” On his website, Good touts his opposition to the “transgender bathroom mandate,” and vows to defend “religious freedom” and “Judeo-Christian principles.”
Raw Story reports: Riggleman, a freshman lawmaker elected in 2018, is best known for a controversy in which he was accused of posting “Bigfoot erotica.” He maintains there was nothing pornographic about the drawings he circulated on social media as part of his interest in Bigfoot lore, although the images did include pictures of the hypothetical genitals. However, this is not why Republicans have soured on him. He has been rapidly losing goodwill with the party ever since he officiated a same-sex wedding in 2019. Virginia’s 5th Congressional District sprawls across most of the central portion of the state. It is one of the state’s more conservative districts, although it is home to some progressive cities, most notably Charlottesville. If Riggleman fails to win the nomination, it could make the race competitive for Democrats, whose most prominent candidate is Marine veteran and businessman R. D. Huffstetler.
More from Roll Call: Google Riggleman, and there’s the picture. It appeared in media accounts that noted it is still rare for a Republican to do such a thing. Riggleman’s wife, Christine, posted it on her Facebook page, a gesture that did not go unnoticed. There’s the congressman, squinting as he reads prepared remarks. There are the two grooms, former campaign volunteers, wearing matching windowpane plaid. … At its essence, Riggleman’s predicament is procedural: As news of the wedding spread, three GOP county committees voted to censure him. The 5th Congressional District Republican Committee narrowly missed voting to do the same. In November, the district committee voted to name the party’s 2020 nominee at a convention rather than a primary, a move widely seen as targeting Riggleman.